Closure Activities

Here are some great activities for closure to your lessons:

  • Summaries R Us. In a combination of the Four Rs activity and the exit ticket, students are given strips that allow them to choose which reflective summary technique they use—restate, react, remember, or respond with questions. As seen in the example below, this task requires students to identify which technique they are using, making the task more metacognitive.
  • Four-student Summary. Each student writes a single word from the con-tent that is meaningful to him or her. In groups of four, students then share, compare, and contrast their words. The final task is to write a connection among the four words or a proper, accurate sentence that uses all four words. If all four of the words are the same, then students must explain why.
  • Post Card to an Absent Student. Each student uses an index card or sticky note to explain the main ideas, steps, or concepts learned in class to someone who did not hear them. Instead of just writing “Hi, Mike… Here’s what we learned in class today,” students are encouraged to explain why the new curriculum might seem hard or tricky. Other possibilities are to introduce how the content is similar to or different from something they’ve already done.
  • Exit Ticket. Students are asked to write and then post or turn in a short note that explains the main idea of the day’s lesson or—perhaps more important—their reaction to it, a personal connection to it, an example of it, or a question about it. Aside from this personal response, a second intent of the exit ticket is for students to have an opportunity to “speak” to their teacher about the learning. Students should be encouraged to let their teacher know what help or additional information is needed.
  • NEWS. This mnemonic device reminds students to write four thoughts about the content in question: What else do we need to know? What excites you? What is worrisome (the downside to the idea)? What is your stance or opinion on this topic? Three Cs. Students write a personal connection to the information, a challenge within the content or to the information, and a description of how the information changes what they know or think about the content. I Used to Think/Now I Think. Rather self-explanatory in title, this activity requires students to complete both of the phrases and describe how the lesson changed their thinking. Headline. Students write a newspaper headline that captures an important idea of the lesson. Asking students to write headlines about the same information but for two different sources—for example, a traditional newspaper such as USA Today and a “tabloid” such as The National Enquirer-adds a bit of novelty. In a variation, a high school social studies class could be asked to write the “screen crawls” that appear along the bottom of two television news shows: one conservative and one liberal.
  • CSI. Choose a color that captures the big idea of this chapter and explain the connection. Next, draw a scenario of this chapter. Finally, draw an appropriate icon to symbolize the chapter.
  • Seven-word Summary. Working in pairs or groups, students are asked to write a summary of the information in a complete sentence of exactly seven words. Tweet Me. Students are allowed 140 characters to capture or react to the lesson or content. This can be done on paper or—more authentically—in the twitterverse.
  • Shaping My Thinking. Using different geometric shapes, students record their responses: • Square: How does the new information square with what I already know? • Triangle: What are three points to remember? • Circle: What questions are still circling around my brain?
  • Sentence, Phrase, Word. Working toward increasing brevity, students write a sentence about the core idea, a phrase that moved or provoked them, and the most powerful word in the content. Two additional closure activities will be introduced in the final chapters of this book.

Activities on this page taken from: 17,000 Classroom Visits Can’t Be Wrong: Strategies That Engage Students, Promote Active Learning, and Boost Achievement by John V. Antonetti & James R. Garver